The yellow brick road in the 1979 movie version of The Wiz seemingly led a path over the Brooklyn Bridge into the Emerald City of Manhattan, making the metaphorical statement that fame and fortune rests with the cool, chic folks of the big city, not the workaday drudges in the boroughs.
Many emerging designers that have shown collections at Brooklyn Fashion Week[end] (BFW) hope that this venue will ease them over the bridge into the golden sunshine of glossy editorials and sponsorship. Hmm, good luck!! After what occurred at the recent BFW Fall/Winter 2010, it is doubtful that buyers, investors, fashion editors or journalists had the patience or endurance to sit through five hours of mostly unremarkable fashion and out-of-place hip hop acts.
After several seasons, the producers of BFW still insist that interest in this event is piqued only if insipid musical acts are inserted between the collections of erstwhile, inchoate designers. Wrong!! And the almost stampede of people out of Steiner Studios testifies to the fact that Brooklyn residents do not want 106 and Park, but a showcase that presents local and emerging designers in the best possible light. That said, there was some good design talent on hand among the circus acts.
The Sachika twins, To-Tam and To-Nya, design for the woman that wants elegant, sophisticated looks that can work ether at night or during the day. The looks they presented at BFW were sleek, feminine silhouettes that conjured up images of Hollywood glamour queens Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake. Their fabric choices of velvet, jersey and mesh netting brought out the sexy curves of the feminine frame. The Sachika twins also brought to BFW men’s cotton tee shirts, first seen at this year’s Supima Competition. There was one drawback to this presentation – at times the overall styling was erratic and too busy.
Crying Tears brought urban swagger and round-the-way sisterhood sassiness to a collection that included some great separates for men and women. Fitted pants with exposed zipper embellishments were married with silk-screened, message-inspired tees and cropped jackets.
The highlight of the evening was the 70s-inspired collection of former Project Runway contestant Terry Stevens. Metallic, wide-label jackets were matched with harlequin bell- bottomed pants. And slinky goddess gowns referenced the in-your-face sexuality of a bygone era. Although this collection was a definite homage to the rhythmic vibrations of the 1970s – Stevens used the sweet sounds of Michael Jackson as background music – the modern construction elevated this collection from what could have been just great vintage separates to a cohesive, contemporary collection that shoppers would want to add to their wardrobe.
Das Komittee closed the show with a collection that heavily referenced Imperial Russia and the Hapsburg Empire. Though the clothes were beautifully constructed, the collection, which included military jackets with gold roping, Cossack jackets and summer dacha lounging coats, was styled too much like Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country to have any true retail value.
Photos courtesy of Ernest Green.